RewardExpert recently named the top 30 midsize U.S. cities for meetings and conventions that won’t break the budget, and will also provide the same level of enjoyment that more expensive cities offer. The cities were evaluated using 20 indicators broken down into seven categories including affordability, climate, commute, business atmosphere, events, accommodation and dining and safety. Most of the cities are close enough to major cities that they are well within the metropolitan area and they are easily accessible for guests to travel to. Make sure to take advantage of all that these cities have to offer.
1. Edison, New Jersey
Highlight: Located along Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, Edison was ranked the 28th most livable small city in the United States by CNN.
2. Allentown, Pennsylvania
Highlight: The largest city in Lehigh Valley now offers a recently-redeveloped downtown area.
3. Providence, Rhode Island
Highlight: Providence is home to seven institutions of higher learning, a carefully-planned downtown area and numerous art venues.
4. Lowell, Massachusetts
Highlight: The city offers an affordable thriving art and culture scene outside of Boston.
5. Worcester, Massachusetts
Highlight: This culturally vibrant city features college town amenities such as museums, concert halls, theaters and galleries.
1. Elgin, Illinois
Highlight: Only a one hour drive from Chicago, Elgin has a wonderful atmosphere for the arts and cultural activities with a strong base of organizations and individual artists.
2. Naperville, Illinois
Highlight: One of the nation’s safest cities, Naperville has a thriving bar, restaurant and hotel scene giving visitors plenty of options.
3. Warren, Michigan
Highlight: Located in the Detroit metropolitan area, Warren has a lot to offer when it comes to both business and leisure amenities.
4. Toledo, Ohio
Highlight: Toledo ranks high due to its affordability, number of events, presence of restaurants and hotels, and strategic location.
5. Kansas City, Kansas
Highlight: Kansas City is a large, prosperous, self-sufficient and culturally rich city with an attractive downtown area and a pleasant climate.
1. Peoria, Arizona
Highlight: Arrange exciting excursions for your team such as horseback riding, hiking, biking and water activities in this major suburb of Phoenix.
2. Arvada, Colorado
Highlight: As part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metropolitan area, Arvada boasts a variety of restaurants, shopping places, performing arts theatre and entertainment centers.
3. Chandler, Arizona
Highlight: This richly-cultural city is home to the Chandler Center for the Arts, a 1,500-seat performing arts theater.
4. Reno, Nevada
Highlight: Billed as the “Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno offers plenty of post-meeting activities and events and is the safest midsize city in the region.
5. Centennial, Colorado
Highlight: A relatively young city, Centennial features a fresh variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants and outdoor activities.
1. West Covina, California
Highlight: Located in the Los Angeles area, this city boasts panoramic mountain views, tons of open spae and a variety of events.
2. Huntington Beach, California
Highlight: This coastal city in Orange County has been nicknamed “Surf City” and is known for its mild climate and beach culture.
3. Downey, California:
Highlight: Downey is home to the world’s oldest McDonald’s and the newly-built Stonewood Center for post-meeting shopping, dining and entertainment.
4. Irving, California
Highlight: Visit the Irving Spectrum Center and take a ride on the Ferris wheel or stop by the Orange County Great Park for weekly farmers markets and outdoor movie nights.
5. Burbank, California
Highlight: The “Media Capital of the World” is just a few miles northeast of Hollywood but remains quiet and peaceful with 286 sunny days in a year.
1. Savannah, Georgia
Highlight: Savannah is a beautiful coastal city with well-preserved historical heritage and laid-back Southern lifestyle.
2. Sandy Springs, Georgia
Highlight: The city ranks among the top 10 for length of commute, safety, and the presence of restaurants, bars and hotels in this region.
3. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Highlight: This principle city of the Miami area features beach views, a thriving downtown and an average year-round temperature of 75 degrees.
4. Greensboro, North Carolina
Highlight: The “Gate City” was ranked the 51st Best Place to Live by U.S. News and is located near all of the major cities in North Carolina.
5. Hialeah, Florida
Highlight: The city is easily accessible from Miami International Airport and provides many opportunities for visitors to enjoy arts and culture.
1. Irving, Texas
Highlight: Irving has experienced rapid growth over the past fifty years and is home to a multitude of attractions including the International Concert Series every summer.
2. Pasadena, Texas
Highlight: Located only 30 minutes by car from Houston, Pasadena is a suitable alternative for those who would rather not host a meeting or convention in the big city.
3. Richardson, Texas
Highlight: This suburb of Dallas has a great business atmosphere and is home to the region’s most famous Chinatown.
4. Mesquite, Texas
Highlight: Mesquite offers sunny weather, plenty of local amenities and a high degree of affordability.
5. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Highlight: The capital of Louisiana is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, research, motion picture, and growing technology center of the American South.